When the weather gets warm, all of Boston’s neighborhoods buzz with residents and visitors. But one neighborhood is increasingly more popular thanks to its seasonal open market, boutique shopping, and buzzworthy restaurants. The South End is a little off the beaten path (MBTA train lines only touch its furthest borders), so make sure to visit on a nice day and enjoy a leisurely stroll. Its picturesque brownstones, eclectic residents, and countless bars and stores make it a great spot to spend a weekend afternoon. With the forecast making us believe spring is here to stay, we at Seaport have put together a list of our South End must-sees. Herewith, a few of our favorites:
•SoWa Market (500 Harrison Ave., Boston): Nothing says the start of warm weather in Boston like the SoWa Market. The open market runs every Sunday from the start of May through October, and this Sunday (May 6) is opening day! Head to Harrison Avenue for over 200 art galleries, studios, boutiques, restaurants, and vendors. The SoWa Beer Barn is a favorite for craft beer lovers, and gourmands will be delighted by the litany of food trucks parked in front of the beer garden. For those looking for a head start to their SoWa experience, this Friday from 5pm-9pm is First Friday for all the galleries at SoWa. Drop by for an open night of art perusing and discussion!
•Shawmut Avenue: While it may not be as busy as some of the South End’s other thoroughfares, Shawmut Avenue is an under-the-radar hotbed of restaurants and shopping. Start your day at the Wholy Grain (275 Shawmut) or the Buttery (314 Shawmut Ave.) for java and a croissant before perusing the fashion at Flock (274 Shawmut Ave.) or unique home goods at Willey Boston (8 Union Park…just off Shawmut). For those going just for dinner, the Greek at Kava neo-taverna (315 Shawmut) has become a neighborhood staple on warm nights when chilled wine and al fresco dining is at the top of one’s cravings.
•Stephi’s on Tremont (571 Tremont, Boston): At times, it can feel like the scene is more of the draw than the food at Stephi’s on Tremont, but that doesn’t make it any less of an integral part of a South End visit. Good luck finding a last-minute table or seat at the bar, but if you do, you’ll see why this has remained a top watering hole for the neighborhood. Potent cocktails, delicious comfort food, and a popular patio make Stephi’s great to see-and-be-seen as well as refuel after a day of shopping.
•Follain (53 Dartmouth St., Boston): Before you head back to the train in Back Bay, pop into Follain on Dartmouth Street to pamper yourself well after you’ve left the neighborhood line. This boutique beauty shop is focused on providing customer with natural products to make your skincare regimen a healthy one. The jovial staff will ask your current list of products and then suggest a few of their own that contain fewer ingredients and give you a dewy glow for days to come!